Wootton Wawen derives its unusual name from the Saxon lord Wagen and his ‘wudutun’ or ‘woodland village’. And here you’ll find Warwickshire’s oldest church, St Peter’s, which dates back at least to the 900s. Inside, The Saxon Sanctuary exhibition traces the story of the settlement, of Roman occupation, monasteries and mysteries like Puck’s Dyke.
Maybe lunch in a pub then follow the canal – it leaps on a cast iron aqueduct over the main road – to Wilmcote and the childhood home of Shakespeare’s mother, Mary Arden. Experience 16th-century life on the farm here and see a variety of rare breeds. See accommodation near Wootton Wawen.
This enticing house, originally 16th century, was restored between the world wars to create a memorable 20th-century evocation of domestic Tudor architecture. Look out for fine 16th-century textiles and furniture as well as delicate stained-glass windows. Outside you’ll find romantic herbaceous borders, and a spiral path leads to the extraordinary Yew Garden whose bulging, cylindrical and conical topiary is said to represent the Sermon on the Mount, including The Master, 12 Apostles and four Evangelists.
Unlock the secrets of a home that offered a haven to Catholics persecuted in the Elizabethan era. Atmospheric interiors throughout the house conjure the comforts of the times, yet this moated medieval manor also conceals no fewer than three priest’s holes: just imagine the hold-your-breath moments endured by someone in hiding. Stretch your legs in the delightful garden complete with stewponds and lake, find out what’s fresh in the vegetable garden, or follow the lovely nature walk.
Enjoy a gentle outing along the course of an old railway line, now a dedicated traffic-free cyclepath/footpath. With no hills to climb, the Stratford Greenway to the village of Long Marston (5 miles there, 5 miles back) suits all ages. Set yourself up with refreshments at the start, at the Carriages Cafe at Seven Meadows Car Park on the edge of Stratford-upon-Avon, and maybe pause halfway at the picnic benches at Milcote Car Park.
Unwind on this gentle walk that explores the countryside east of Henley-in-Arden, taking in several parish churches and the remains of a Norman castle. The route heads to Preston Bagot and its picturesque church. Continuing on, it reaches the Stratford-upon-Avon Canal, following the towpath north to Finwood Bridge. Clear waymarking along the Heart of England Way returns you to Henley-in-Arden and its gorgeous timbered high street with appealing independent shops and cafes.
Rumour has it that the first performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream took place beneath the ancient cedar tree in the garden here. Today, folk flock to our restaurant which, as befits a 4-star hotel, offers both table d’hôte and full a la carte menus plus an extensive wine list. We use only the freshest ingredients in season to create traditional dishes enlivened with a modern spin. AA 1 rosette.
Comfort and refinement in a dramatic 157-acre setting await you. We believe that food should be one of the great pleasures of your stay and our award-winning, AA 2-rosette restaurant offers a seasonal changing menu of English and European dishes, all complimented by outstanding views over the Italian gardens and water features.
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